A community group ready to share the joy of music at the concert on March 20


A “really cool” version of “Amazing Grace” is the piece saxophonist Lynne Russell is most looking forward to performing at the Deer Park Symphonic Winds’ March 20 concert.

Admission is free to the event at 3:30 p.m. at Deer Park First Baptist Church, 438 E. Eighth St., Deer Park.

“Good music is a real gift, and from God even more so,” said Russell, who is 78 and lives in Deer Park.

For over 20 years she performed in the First Baptist worship band. In 2019, when two fellow church musicians formed the Deer Park Community Concert Band, they invited Russell to join, and Baytown’s Tommy Juarez was chosen as bandleader.

“This year we changed the name to Deer Park Symphonic Winds,” Juarez said. “We felt the original title was too long and our new name flowed more easily.”

The concert on March 20 is called “All American”.

What: Deer Park Symphonics Winds Spring Concert

Or: Deer Park First Baptist Church, 438 E. Eighth St., Deer Park

When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday March 20

Cost: Free

Information about Deer Park Symphonics Winds: Contact Tommy Juarez at dpconductortom@gmail.com

“We will feature classic pieces for wind band by well-known American composers such as Frank Ticheli’s ‘Cajun Folk Songs’ and his magnificent version of ‘Amazing Grace,’” Juarez said.

“Cajun Folk Songs” will be conducted by the band’s assistant bandleader, Trenton Petry, who is the band director at Bonnette Junior High School in Deer Park.

Also on the bill are “Suite of Old American Dances” by Robert Russell Bennett, “The Music Makers” by Alfred Reed and “The Melody Shop March” by Karl King, which will feature Luis Blas, a member of the group who plays the euphonium. Blas is the head group director at Sam Houston High School at Houston ISD.

“The march has a very fun and challenging part for a euphonium player,” Juarez said.

Compared to church hymns, Russell said, “The music we play is much more uplifting in the community group, but no less inspiring. Good music is inspiring, on the whole.

Russell began playing saxophone in sixth grade at an elementary school in Elmendorf, in southeastern Bexar County.

“We lived in the countryside and raised chickens; so I sold eggs to pay for the monthly rental of a saxophone from Brooks Mays Music Co. in San Antonio,” she said.

“I thought being in the school band was the ultimate solution. I was in the band for four years and taught my best friend how to play.

The Deer Park Symphonic Winds rehearse every Monday from 7-8:30 p.m. at Bonnette High School, 5010 W. Pasadena Blvd. in the deer park.

“We are all volunteers,” Juarez said. “The performers are here to continue the satisfaction of making music that they first experienced in their high school bands all the way through high school and, in many cases, college.”

For more information, contact Juarez at dpconductortom@gmail.com.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at donmaines@att.net


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